Blissfully solitary

The lone rider’s journey


Photo by Peyton Sims

Photo Illustration

Story by Aislyn Echols, staff writer

Sophomore Ryan Hampton is an average student, but, unlike most of the student body, she has grown up solitary, with only her mother to keep her company. She had to grow up without knowing both the joy and pain of having a sibling.

Hampton has grown up and lived in Texarkana since she was little. It was always her and mother, but she has never had a real sibling. 

“I have never hated being an only child,” Hampton said. “Once upon a time, a long time ago, I did want a sibling, but not anymore.”

When it comes to being an only child, the reason for wanting a sibling can vary. One may not like having only their parents for company, or maybe they don’t have a way to easily talk to their friends when at home. For Hampton, growing without a sibling may not have been a punishment, but it was still a lonely journey to travel.

“[I wanted a sibling] because I didn’t like my cousin who was living with me at the time and I wanted someone else,” Hampton said.

While being an only child can make things feel isolated at times, Hampton has learned to adapt to these feelings and possibly make things less solitary.

“[When I get lonely] I just blast my music as loud as I want directly into my ears,” Hampton said.

Harmful stereotypes placed on only children have led people to believe that many are spoiled, ungrateful brats, but this is not always the case.

“[One thing I wish people knew about being an only child is] that you’re not an entitled, spoiled brat,” Hampton said. “[Being an only child] isn’t a character trait, it’s just that you just so happen to have no siblings.”

Hampton, though she may not have a sibling who can be there for her, has imagined what it would be like if she actually had a sibling and what they would be like.

“[If I had a sibling] I would want them to be exactly like me so that I can relate to them and talk about everything I can’t talk to anybody else about,” Hampton said. 

Being an only child might not seem fun for some, but this way of life is ideal to others. There are many perks, such as never having to share with anyone else and not having to fight for a parent’s attention. 

“[When you’re an only child] you don’t have to deal with other people,” Hampton said. “It’s a lot easier for your [parents]. My mother is a single parent and she doesn’t have to pay for as much, even though I’m pretty expensive.”